When I Can’t Find My Way

If you are expecting a trouble-free life, I have news for you: That is not going to happen. Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33NLT).

We can take comfort in knowing Jesus is with us until the end, and He has not left us alone. However, we need to trust Him in all things, and that means we will have to push self aside, look to Him, and fully depend and rely on Him. Take heart…Be strong and courageous because our Savior has overcome the World. So put your faith and hope in Him. In all you do and say, trust in Him. Submit and commit yourself to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

PRAYER: When I can’t find my way, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of the Heavens and Earth.”

Heavenly Father, You are my Helper and have not left me comfortless. Thank You for always being here for me and for Your Holy Spirit who guides me into all truth. I know that I can look to you and know You have already gone before me and made a way for me. Lord, be with me as I am putting my hope and trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

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Remember the Message of the Cross…

Remember in your celebration and contemplation of the New Year to come to keep Christ first in all things.  The cross cannot be separated from Christ, and Christ cannot be separated from the cross.  On that cross, Christ paid the price.  He has saved us, healed us, delivered us, and has set us free.  Daily we are being made holy as we die to self.

“For even The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom in the place of the many.” -Mark 10:45 (Aramaic Bible In Plain English)

As we look forward to celebrating the New Year just around the corner, let us remember to continue living in wholehearted devotion to Him, never looking back, and pressing on into the future.  Let us carry out the tasks He has placed before us and continue to grow in the love of Christ.

Linda A. Knowles

Being Tempted Is Not A Sin



“The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him..” -Mark 1:12-13 (NLT)



Psalms_119-11



Temptation always comes, and while being tempted is not a sin, giving in to the temptation is a sin.  The Word of God goes so far as to say that if we are tempting someone that is sin as well and states, “…Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting,” (Matthew 18:7 NLT).  We are never to use someone’s weaknesses against him/her to tempt him/her to commit sin against God.  In other words, look out for the best interests of others and encourage them to progress in their walk with God.
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We are not to rejoice when someone trips up and falls into temptation.  We are, however, to spur each other on, not play on the weaknesses that the other has.
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With all that being said, Jesus gave us an example of how to handle temptation and what we should do when faced with temptation.  We are to respond with “It is written,” which is why it is so important to daily be in the Word of God studying, thinking about the Scriptures, applying the Word to our lives, and hiding God’s Word in our hearts in order to combat temptation and to live a life pleasing to God. 
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Let’s look at how Jesus handled temptation:
“Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.  And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’  Jesus responded, ‘The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” -Luke 4:9-12
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Jesus made it very clear for us to know that the devil is the father of lies and no truth can be found in him, and that is recorded in John 8:44 (NLT), which states, “He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
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The devil twisted the Scripture to tempt Jesus when he said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off!  For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.'”  Jesus knew the Scriptures well and knew Satan was twisting the Scriptures.  God does protect, and that is truth.  God will command His angels to watch over and guard us;  However, we are not to take the promises of God lightly nor should we ever be so careless in thinking that if we jump off a building that God will keep us from going splat on the ground.  Jesus, rightly dividing the Word of God, gave us this clear demonstration of how to wield the Sword of the Spirit when we’re faced with temptation.  Jesus responded by saying, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.'”  


REFLECTION:  “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You,” (Psalm 119:11 BSB).  Do you have daily time reading and studying the Bible?  Do you truly know the Bible?  Do you walk in obedience to the Word of God?  The bible is not a buffet where you can choose what you like and what you don’t like.  You need the entire counsel of God, not just some of His counsel.   The Word tells you how live a holy life, tells you everything you need to know to inherit eternal life, and the Word of God teaches you how to handle temptation, and instructs you as to what God has given you to overcome whatever may come your way.  “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT).  As a child of God, hiding God’s Word in your heart and clinging to His truth will help you in your life. However, it is absolutely vital for you apply the Word of God to your life, to live the Word of God out loud in your life, not just when temptation strikes. It is not enough to be exposed to the Word of God. It is not enough to read the Word of God. You must be applying the Word, and you must be living out the Word in every aspect of your life. You must be obeying God’s commands especially if you claim to love God and claim to be His child.  When you truly know the Word of God, you will know when half-truths come your way and know if someone is twisting the Scriptures.  Hide His Word in your heart so you might not sin against Him.


PRAYERHeavenly Father, You are the God of all Truth.  I ask You to help me remain steadfast in You, to keep my feet from slipping.  Lord, teach me Your ways and Your truth.  Help me to always rightly divide Your Word.  May I always hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles


“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7 (NLT)

Times of Desperation Are The Best



GRACE 2



You might be thinking, “Seriously, Linda? Times of desperation are the best? Are you crazy?”  Probably, but I have had a lot of time to think about desperation since I have been through desperate situations myself as well as knowing some others who have found themselves in situations and circumstances beyond their control. I have thought a lot about people in the bible who have found themselves in the most dangerous or crazy situations.  *Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we have come face to face with trials and not knowing what to do in those situations… those situations that have had us laid out before the LORD, those situations that have had us completely at the end of ourselves, that have us carefully tuning in to hear GOD’s voice speak, paying more attention to what the Word of GOD has to say, and clinging to GOD more than we usually do.


“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” -Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

Are these times pleasant when we are going through them?  NO.  However, those are the rawest of moments where GOD can work WITHOUT US trying to help HIM because there is nothing of self to get in the way because we have given up the situation to GOD, completely surrendering whatever it is to HIM.  That’s where GOD wants us: FULLY SURRENDERED TO HIM, relying on HIM, not just in the bad times but in the good times as well…  in the time of blessings and in the time of tribulations.  *In the pages of Scriptures, we see Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah who all lived for GOD, served GOD, and did great things for GOD.  However, they all went through trying times.  Through it all, they clung to GOD with steadfast devotion and unwavering loyalty.  Their success did not come by walking an easy road but by walking a narrow road paved with humility, suffering, persecution, and all while walking in obedience to GOD who upheld them no matter what the circumstances or situations they were in.  GOD worked everything out for their good and for HIS purposes, and GOD can work things out for you just as HE did for them.  Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were blessed for enduring their times of trial, those desperate situations.   Remember it was desperate times which took Joseph from the cistern to the palace (Genesis 37-41), Daniel from the Lion’s Den into prosperity (Daniel 6:28), and Nehemiah from cupbearer to heading up the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-9).  

REFLECTION “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses,” (2 Kings 18:6).  You can be like Hezekiah who did not depart from following GOD but kept the commandments of GOD.  Cling tightly to GOD at ALL times.  Be faithful to the GOD who has been faithful to you and who has kept you.  Be loyal to the GOD who has not let your enemies triumph over you.  Walk with HIM and follow the LORD’s commandments, obeying Him with wholehearted devotion.  Without GOD, you can do nothing.  With GOD, you are an overcomer and made victorious. *PRAYER Heavenly Father, Your power is made perfect in weakness. You are the Horn of My Salvation, and You are the Wellspring of Life.  No matter what the circumstance, good or bad, I will put my hope and trust in You for with You all things are possible.  Thank You for times of desperation because, in those moments, You teach me and show me more of Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.  Thank you for making my feet like a deer able to climb the mountain heights You have set me on, and when I come to You to have my strength renewed as I wait upon you, let me rise up with wings like an eagle.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”  -Isaiah 50:10

Thank You For Never Letting Me Go

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There is no better place that I have found than to be in the arms of the Eternal God and Savior.  He is unchanging, everlasting, the First and the Last, and He is Yahweh Shammah, The Lord Is There.  

May you be filled with joy and peace in this season and beyond.

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

-Isaiah 43:2

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

-Joshua 1:9

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10

“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.”

-Psalm 119:114

 

 

 

You, O LORD, are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise.

Thank you for never letting me go.

 

 

 

 

 

The Horrible Crabapple Tree, Plastic Sandwich Bag, & Disgruntled Me

APPLE TREE 1On the property of the house I grew up in, there was a Crabapple Tree, and I despised the tree.  As a kid, I blamed the tree for the miserable apples it produced, giving me the displeasure of having to pick up all the apples falling from it onto the ground. I hated picking up those apples, and I most often could be heard shouting, “I hate this!” and “Stupid apples!”
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I braced myself before I started that chore, put a plastic sandwich bag on my hand because of how rotten they were, and then I would begin.  It was the worst chore, but I had only two options to go outside and complete my chore OR be grounded.  I chose to complete my chore.  All I wanted was for the Crabapple Tree to work with me.  I wasn’t asking for a lot when I shouted at the tree, “Work with me!  Not against me.”
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It was an absolutely beautiful tree, but the fruit was rotten.


WHAT KIND OF TREE ARE YOU?

APPLE TREE 3
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Are you a good tree producing good fruit, or are you a bad tree, like the Crabapple Tree in this story, producing rotten fruit?
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Jesus had this to say in Luke 6:43-45, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit.  For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”


“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” -John 15:16



As a child of God, you are chosen by Jesus to go forth and bear much fruit.  How you conduct yourself is very important because unbelievers are watching you especially if you are witnessing to them about the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Some will try to push you to the edge to see how you will react, and so there must be a noticeable difference between you and those who are unbelievers.  Your conduct and your speech must line up together.  If the unbeliever cannot tell the difference between you and them, then there is a problem.  All of us are to be lights in this dark world.  If you live like the world while claiming to be a child of God, you are fooling yourself and still living in darkness (1 John 1:1-8).
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In 1 Samuel 9:2, King Saul is described as handsome.  God, however, saw King Saul’s heart.  King Saul did not do the will of God, bearing the fruits of disobedience and being more concerned about the approval of man.
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God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 
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And God is still telling us the same thing today.  God wants us to do His will, and when we do His will out of obedience and devotion to Him, we are producing good fruit.  When we spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit is working in us, convicting us, changing us.  When we conform our will to the Lord’s will, we will produce good fruit.  The only reason we are able to bear the fruit God wants us to bear is because of His grace and His mercy, and as His Holy Spirit guides and leads us into His Truth, we bear the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.
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What fruit are you bearing?  Are your actions and your words lining up together?  Are you walking the walk and not just talking the talk?  Is there a noticeable difference between you and the unbeliever?


“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”  (2 Peter 3:9)



 Much Love To You All,
L.A.  Knowles

“Make Me Like Wax”

MAKE ME LIKE WAX

Written By Linda A. Knowles

October 2003

CANDLE 1

Make me like wax before the fire,

Softened and easy to shape.

Though my flesh roars out

for acts and crusades of rebellion,

May my spirit always yield

and submit to your ways.

Though purification

from selfishness and pride,

wrongful ways and sinful attitudes

may inflict temporal pain,

cleansed me as You did Isaiah

when the coal touched his lips

so I may be with You

from everlasting to everlasting.

May I continually strive

along your paths of righteousness

and seek out Your ways

that I might not become calloused

and lose First Love.

This Pretty Much Says It All…

 

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“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.” -Hebrews 11:1-2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;   he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  –James 1:2-8 (ESV)

 

 

Legend In Your Own Mind

VULTURE 1



LEGEND IN YOUR OWN MIND

Written By Linda A. Knowles



You are a legend

in your own mind

and you can’t

even seem to find

a little

not even a drop

of the dirt you threw at

the one

who dared escape

your vicious claws

and all this time

you believed

that one would continue

to drag behind.

 

 

A vulture-

That you are

and your conscience

seared

and the one

who escaped

your talons

flies high and free

above the trees

to mountain heights

having mounted up with wings

like an eagle

and soaring

through the air

upheld by His powerful hands.

 

 

Amazing Love



AMAZING LOVE

Written By Linda A. Knowles



CROSS 1

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Amazing love, O Lord My God!

Amazing love I cannot fathom!

No matter what I do,

Your love never changes,

Your love still remains.

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Amazing love, O Lord My God!

Such amazing love!

If I could only see,

the depth,

the height,

the width,

of Your unending love so sublime;

But even then,

I would not be able to fully comprehend.

Nothing Distracted Jesus

BIBLE 1“Jesus clearly understood the reason for His coming to earth and never allowed popularity, success, opposition, threats, or even dissention within His ranks to distract Him. He remained steadfastly focused on that mission, though not without due care for those around Him. He worked hard to make the truth plain. He often repeated the invitation to embrace the truth. But He never allowed the failure of others to pull Him off course.” -Charles R. Swindoll (Walk With Jesus: A Forty-Day Journey to the Cross and Beyond)

I am so thankful nothing stopped Jesus from completing His mission.

Where would you be without the love of Christ? Without the love of Christ, I do NOT even want to think of where I would be today. I am grateful Jesus has given us life, that He paid the ransom in full (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45), no longer bound to sin (Romans 8:12). And out of the abundance of thankful hearts, let us not forget to give all glory and praise to Him who has redeemed us (Hebrews 13:15), loving Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” -Hebrews 12:1-3

Nothing distracted Him from His mission, and so let us not get distracted but each of us should continue doing whatever task God has set before us to do. Do not look to the right or the left. Do not get caught up in the temporal. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and with grateful hearts, press forward and do that which you have been called to do. The grace of God will sustain you. His love will uphold you, and His mercy will not fail you.

_________
L.A.Knowles

MY ETHNICITY DNA TEST

Southern Europe 2

I grew up in an Italian/Sicilian family, and as far as my family knew, they could trace our ethnicity to Italy and Sicily; however, thanks to my parents’ genetic makeup and my receiving whatever they had, I found out my ethnicity, my family’s ethnicity is not just Italian/Sicilian.

ASIA MINORBack a few months ago, my husband and I received two Ethnicity DNA kits as a gift.  I made sure I followed the instructions to the letter with the help of my husband so I didn’t miss a beat, and he completed his kit; we sent both DNA kits off to the center.

It took awhile, but in the last two weeks, I FINALLY got my results.  And while it was not surprising based on Italy’s history, it was most definitely an eye opener.


HERE ARE THE RESULTS OF MY ETHNICITY DNA TEST

Eastern Middle East61% SOUTHERN EUROPEAN

39% MIDDLE EASTERN (Breakdown):

19% Asia Minor

16% Eastern Middle East

4% North African

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DNA is absolutely amazing!

North Africa

Mere Mortal Words Escape

BREAK AWAY 1…And I cry, “Abba, Father”

Mere mortal words escape me;

And I cannot express

nor convey the depths of this soul.

…And I cannot speak

But only in unknown tongue

not known to mere man,

But, You, Abba, and only You

can truly comprehend.

 

______________

L.A. Knowles

One of these sheep is not like the other….

MASK 6

“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.   A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” –Matthew 7:15-20

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

Get Ready To Throw & Then Do So

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” -Maya Angelou

 

When we give of ourselves to help those around us, we demonstrate the love of Christ; and in the Gospels, when we see our Savior being moved with compassion, we also should be moved with compassion as we follow His example and help those around us.

May we always remember to be His hands extended.

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

_______________________

BLESS 1

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” -Luke 6:38

“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.” -Hebrews 6:10

“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” -Hebrews 13:16

 

 

 

Standing Alone?

CHAIN 4

You may be left standing alone as you stand for what you believe.

You do NOT need man’s approval.

You need God’s approval because

His approval is the only thing that matters.

DO NOT COMPROMISE FOR ANYONE.  Mankind is as temporal as everything else.  First John 2:15-17 states, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”

alone 1

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Just like everything else, mankind is temporal, not eternal.

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Even if you were deserted by family and friends and neighbors, be assured you are NOT standing alone, God is The One Who Has Got You Covered all around.   He is your Hedge of Protection, your Strength, your Shield, your Portion.  He is your All and All; He is Everything.

“‘I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!  I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished.  Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!  From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.  ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’  Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, ‘When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right.  When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is.  You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.  Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right?  When you are on the way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison.  And if that happens, you won’t be free again until you have paid the very last penny.'”-Luke 12:49-59

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

An Attitude of Gratitude Goes A Long Way So Don’t Be Like Eeyore The Donkey.

eeyoreDo you have a roof over your head?  Do you have clothes on your back?  Food on the table? Do you have family… friends?  Did you wake up this morning?

IF YOU HAVE ANSWERED YES TO ANY OR ALL OF THOSE QUESTIONS, YOU ARE BLESSED.

Put a smile on your face.  Count your blessings.  You have been given another day, a fresh start, another chance.  Rather than focusing on yourself or all things negative, DO SOMETHING nice for someone else.  Look for opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS.  Believe it or not, those opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS happen quite frequently.  Extending yourself to help someone else will help begin the mending of a broken heart or a crushed spirit.

The most miserable people are those who have not learned to be content with what they have and not learned to be grateful.  Develop an attitude of gratitude; it will carry you through good and bad times

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” -1 Timothy 6:6

 

HAPPY 2017!

happy-new-year

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MAY YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED

& PROSPEROUS

& HAPPY NEW YEAR!

PLEASE BE SAFE DRIVING

AND IN ALL YOUR CELEBRATING!

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MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL,

L.A. KNOWLES

IN THIS SEASON…

TO ALL MY FAMILY,

FRIENDS, 

BLOG SUBSCRIBERS,

& BLOG VISITORS:

chanukah-2

chachristmas

Happy Kwanzaa

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May your holidays be filled with

the blessing of family and friends,

and may your days of celebration

be filled with joy.

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Much Love To You All,

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

Linda

Pen & Paper My Way

notebook-3I’ve loved paper and pen for as long as I can remember, and when I went to college, college only fueled my love for it a lot more.  Some say I was addicted, and many have wondered what my fascination was with pen and paper;  if I could write on it, I was fascinated.  No matter where I was, no matter what I did, paper and pen were immediately within my reach.

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There’s nothing like opening a brand new ream of paper, fresh scent, crisp feel to it where secrets, thoughts, things in life that make no sense can be worked out, described in detail until everything inside is out of your system…  A safe place, a friend, and a great therapist which can be immediately ripped to shreds, burnt up, or put away depending on the thoughts and/or the confession.  I know it may sound crazy to some people, and that’s fine.  However, each of us has some way of dealing with stuff.  My way happens to be with pen and paper.

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pen-paper-3With Much Love,

L.A. Knowles

May The Peace of God Fill Your Heart This Season

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR!

Black Friday shoppers mobbed the stores, filling carriages, and others making preparations as Christmas is fast approaching.  Some are trimming trees already as others are just bringing out their decorations from storage to get them ready for the family tree trimming day.  Some have their trees already trimmed and decorated.  Houses are being decked with boughs of holly.  Long held traditions are being put into action.  People making sure they got all the gifts for each child as well as for family and friends on their list as they rack up credit card debt or maxing those credit cards out. Children are looking forward to Christmas vacation from school and opening all their presents.  And then there is the flash forward, smiling as they think of Christmas day being with family and friends and gathering around the Christmas tree and possibly eating all day.

Let’s look at the other side of this:  Little Matty wants the latest toy and Mommy has to get to the store early to pick up the latest toy while trying not to get trampled by the other parents who are also trying to get their sons and daughters the latest toy.  People get stressed out as they watch the dollar amount accumulate on their credit cards.  Some dude is stuck in line as he mutters something about the commercialization of Christmas while he has been waiting in line for ten plus minutes.  Then there is the concern if Uncle Lou or Aunt Clara will jump over the dinner table to try to clobber Uncle Clyde or Aunt Rose.  Who’s going to sit next to Aunt Hilda at the Christmas meal because she won’t let anyone get a word in edgewise?  The stress runs high, blood pressure boiling, and tempers ready to hit the fan when a tray of cookies get burned or someone knocks the gravy onto the floor…  I could go on and on.

SO HERE IS WHAT I HOPE FOR

EVERYONE THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON

peace

(1) I hope you will be filled with the peace

that comes from God alone.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

(2) I hope you remember the real season for this season:

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Our Lord and Savior

sent by God to this Earth. 

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

“Then Jesus told her, ‘I am the Messiah!'” -John 4:26

(3) I hope you remember how blessed you are as there are

those who have little to nothing or

are without family and friends.

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” -James 1:17

MAY ALL MY FAMILY & FRIENDS,

ACQAINTANCES & BLOG READERS,

NEIGHBORS & THOSE I HAVE YET TO MEET

BE BLESSED ABUNDANTLY

THROUGH THIS SEASON AND ALWAYS!

*

Much Love To All,

L.A. Knowles

“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” -Ephesians 2:14

 

 

Giving Thanks Is Not Just For Thanksgiving Day

PSALM 138

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;

I sing praise to you before the gods.

I face your holy Temple,

bow down, and praise your name

because of your constant love and faithfulness,

because you have shown that your name

and your commands are supreme.

You answered me when I called to you;

with your strength you strengthened me.

All the kings in the world will praise you, Lord,

because they have heard your promises.

They will sing about what you have done

and about your great glory.

Even though you are so high above,

you care for the lowly,

and the proud cannot hide from you.

When I am surrounded by troubles,

you keep me safe.

You oppose my angry enemies

and save me by your power.

You will do everything you have promised;

Lord, your love is eternal.

Complete the work that you have begun.

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Developing an attitude of gratitude is a daily practice.

Choose joy by being thankful every day.

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

Does He Know Your Name?

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One does NOT inherit Christianity, and one cannot get into Heaven riding on someone else’s coattails. There’s a choice that must be made. The book of John tells us TO ALL WHO BELIEVED AND ACCEPTED HIM, to them, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).

As children of God, we are called to live righteous and holy lives, not to live as the world does. We’re in this world, but we’re NOT of this world because this world is a temporary home, a place we’re only traveling through; and we’re chosen to bear fruit, walking the walk, not just making claims but actually living the life. We must keep in mind our faith needs to be backed up by actions, walking in obedience to God who has chosen us to be His own. It is not enough to make claims. If we love God, we’ll obey Him. We’re called to bear good fruit such as helping our fellow man/woman, encouraging one another, following the examples Christ has given us.  May we always be His hand extended.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” -Matthew 7:21-23

Much Love To You All,

 

L.A. Knowles

Well, I’ve Had It… JUST VOTE

Ah, the right to vote!  Just dandy… I can’t wait for Election Day to get here so I don’t have to read about all the insane campaign melodramatics.  Trying to stay informed with the smearing in every article has gotten tedious and downright foolish.  It’s as if I’m reading the chronicles of mudslinging on an elementary school playground.

vote-4One of the rights you have as a citizen of the United States of America is the right to vote.  However, the irony is we have the right to vote, and there are those who are determined and have minds made up not to vote.   You’re a citizen, and you should, therefore, take part in the process.  Stop neglecting your right to vote.  It’s also a responsibility we have to the future of our country and to the current generation.

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I get it.  Personally, I would like a campaign year do-over.  It has been one wild and crazy ride.

I find myself with an overwhelming responsibility as a Christian to get out and vote.  I’m not so much voting for the person, but I’m looking at the platform.  In other words, if you cannot decide who to vote for, then the question is “Which platform best reflects your morals and ethics,” or if you’re a Christian, “Which platform best reflects Biblical beliefs and lines up with Godly morality.”

I’m not foolish to believe everyone lives by the morals and ethics I live by which is why I have thought about both questions.  Yes, we can protest.  Yes, we can shout and scream.  Is it realistic for you to believe your vote does not count?  Is it realistic for you to believe as a citizen of the USA that it’s not your responsibility to vote?  IF YOU DON’T VOTE, OTHERS ARE VOTING TO ELECT SOMEONE WHO WILL GOVERN THIS NATION WITHOUT YOUR SAY (YOUR VOTE) IN THE MATTER.  Do you really want others choosing for you?  Because if you don’t vote, you’ve basically handed over your say to someone else by not going to the polls and voting.  If you are able bodied and not bothering to vote come this November, in my opinion, that’s being lazy and shirking your responsibility. Even USA citizens overseas have gone through the trouble of obtaining their absentee ballots and are sending in their absentee ballots in order to have a say in who gets elected as well as exercising their right to vote.

Educate yourself on the Democratic Platform, Republican Platform, and the Libertarian Platform.  Do the research.

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Get all the information you can, make a decision, and go vote on November 8, 2016.

Don’t let others speak for you.

Let your voice be heard through your vote.

The Toxic Friend

THE TOXIC FRIEND

Written By Linda A. Knowles

toxic-1

She brought up past sins,

from those long ago days,

a time from the past;

and I saw her ways.

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A friendship so toxic,

and it finally fell apart;

But it felt for me,

a yoke,

that broke;

and no more dart-like words,

to smack me in the face,

for towards the very end,

the friendship was covered with oleander,

concealed by pretty lace.

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It took its toll,

discouraging words,

background trolls,

broken promises,

so many no’s.

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The spouting of a familiar phrase,

One I would often hear her say,

“I didn’t do anything wrong,”

and fault fell to me,

even when it was hers,

constantly-

always-

apologizing,

endlessly.

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Continually,

I was saying,

“I’m sorry for…”

seemingly all the time;

but she claimed no part.

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How she got all innocent;

to this day,

I still don’t know;

But,

more and more,

I understand,

as time goes on and on.

toxic-6

Just Mangia!

Saying the word “diet” in an Italian Home is like saying the “F” word.  It will NEVER go over well.  “Have you considered baking the veal cutlets in the oven, Mama?”  “I cook the veal cutlets in the fry pan with olive oil.  It’s healthy.”

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You sit down at the table and see it’s covered with food already but more is coming.  Right now it’s simply covered with the antipasto, cold cuts, soup, and salad for appetizers… Italian rolls, Italian bread (pre-sliced of course)…

Any attempt to mention the word “diet” will never go over very well.  “You too thin!  Mangia!”  But Mama…..  You might as well stop.  Don’t try to convince Mama.  She’ll give you the look.  You know the look, the look that sends a million icicles piercing through you as she puts an overfilled plate in front of you.  “Be quiet!  Mangia!”

Great!  Let’s eat!  So you eat, but wait, there are several other entrees coming out.  You need to make room in your stomach for the other food.   Bring out the Eggplant Parmigiana, Pasta Alfredo, Chicken Cacciatore!  Chicken Marsala, Anyone?!  And let’s not forget the lasagna.  Bring out the pasta with clams and clam sauce!  Bring out every fat-filled, extravagantly tasty food!  “We got tiramisu for dessert.”  Don’t forget the Italian pastry, but isn’t there enough food?  “Got to make sure we got enough food for everyone.  We’ll send people home with food.  Don’t you worry.  Now go get the cannoli out of the refrigerator  and put it on the table.”  Wait!  We haven’t finished dinner!  “DO WHAT I SAID!”  No arguing with Mama.  Just get the cannoli out of the refrigerator.

wrecking-ball-1And by the time you leave the house to do whatever you have to do, you’ll have to be rolled out, or it may feel as if you are going to explode.

However, there is a bright side to all of this:    Even though you may have to roll yourself out the door or break down a wall to get out of your house,  AT LEAST YOU WON’T STARVE.

Peaceful Protest

FLAGLet me start by saying this:  I love the USA.  I live in the USA, and I’m a citizen.  I do NOT agree with anyone who protests by sitting during the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance;  I’m also a firm believer if one does not like our laws, customs, and culture, that one or few should just pack up and leave.

With that being said…

PEOPLE

We’ve seen protests that have involved looting, rioting, blocking highways or main roads which caused problems for emergency vehicles and rescue workers, violent acts of murder, fighting, and the like.

We keep calling out and saying, “PEACEFUL PROTESTS!”  However, when Colin Kaepernick sits down during the national anthem we are outraged, and yet Colin did not riot, burn anything down, loot, or commit any act of violence. So he chose and did a peaceful protest, and then some of us even got more outraged when another athlete followed his example.

“Stand up for what you believe” as long as what? They do it our way? As long as they believe our way? We’re still not satisfied with their peaceful protest…  And by which list of standards are we measuring these “peaceful” protests? The athletes brought no physical harm to anyone by sitting down. Sure, they may have embarrassed their fellow teammates by sitting out, but the key phrase here is THEY PROTESTED PEACEFULLY.

What would we rather the athletes have done? Would we rather them steal, harm someone, burn something down in the name of whatever it is they believe? We wanted peaceful protests. We expected people do peaceful protests and not the kind of protest that breaks out violence, injuring others, and destroying community businesses and homes.

It may not have been ideal for any of you, including myself, but they chose what was best for them as individuals.  In this country, there’s the right to protest, and that is their freedom to do so.  They chose a peaceful demonstrative protest, and no one got hurt.

And we’re still not satisfied.